Nothing is as powerful for your vendor or disti organisation, as a fully engaged, motivated and focused partner.
And never in recent history has there been a time more vital than now to ensure that your partners have everything they need to do the best job possible of selling your stuff and supporting customers.
But to the same extent, nothing could be more dangerous to your business than unengaged partners feeling that they are being left to fend for themselves, that you are making assumptions as to what they need, what their objectives are, what they are capable of and also, and this is important, that you appreciate the power dynamic of the relationship – because contrary to many popular beliefs in the channel, partners do not exist to satisfy and fulfil your objective(s). They are in this for themselves.
With all this in mind, now is a great time to review your whole Partner Experience (PX) landscape. What is it that you have that differentiates your model and your execution of PX – and hey, if this is not on the agenda at every Channel meeting, or it is not yet a key pillar of your indirect channel strategy – then it bloody well needs to be, and quick! Organisations have been falling over themselves for years talking about CX, do not leave your partners behind, get PX on the agenda and start shouting about it!
So, since Purechannels was founded in 2005, we have a back-catalogue of working with pretty much every single world-dominating brand, from Microsoft and Adobe, to Samsung and Vodafone. Not only do these top global brands have key performing indirect channels, but they also have huge consumer plays, meaning we are uniquely positioned to be able to create this comparison between CX and PX.
As part of this PX movement, we have developed our very own, unique, model that encompasses everything you need in order to develop, track and gauge how you provide the ultimate, inclusive experience for your partners.
Purechannels Model: The 5Es of PX.
It is essential that partners are engaged. Not just at the start, but on an ongoing basis throughout their lifetime as a partner with you – this will ensure you optimise your and their LPV (Lifetime Partner Value)! Far too many vendors fall into the trap of ‘wooing’ new partners at the beginning of the relationship and then slacking off over time.
In order to ensure that partners take the right message to market, they have to be given ‘complete’ education – not just product/tech. This is sales, marketing, proposition and culture education. How do motivate and get your top sales and marketing people to achieve the highest levels of success? This complete story needs to be shared with your partners, not kept from them.
Once you have educated partners correctly and completely you need to create and give them the best available tools to help them take your message to market. You cannot simply assume or allow yourselves to expect your partners to just do this for you, off their own backs. You wouldn’t do that internally, so you shouldn’t be doing that with your partners.
None of this can be an activity in isolation. You should be continually reviewing and evaluating what is going on, where success is, where it is coming from, any trends you are noticing, similarities that exist between your direct and indirect functions. And then assessing where you can make sensible, realistic and successful changes to make things better and have a positive impact on your partners and their customers.
There really is no start and finish point when it comes to Partner Experience, nor is there really an order/hierarchy that must be stuck and adhered to. This is not a ‘left-to-right’ scale. This is a constantly moving model, that with regular Evaluation, you will be able to Evolve the right things, at the right times and in the right way. Our world changes regularly and recently with Coronavirus this has become very significant. So by taking a regular review of your PX, and evaluating what you are doing, what partners are saying, what they are asking you for, and understanding what they are needing, you can identify where the gaps are and what you need to do in order to Evolve your programmes. With all the other Es, this is continual, fluid and you have to continually Evolve in order to ensure you are getting it right (or as right as possible) for your partners, for you, and for your customers.
Purechannels has been at the forefront of channel development and channel marketing services since 2005 working on numerous programmes and helping vendors to ensure the best possible Partner Experience along the way. If you would like to consider adding a comprehensive PX programme to your channel landscape, please contact us.
CEO of The Channel Agency: Purechannels
Founder of Nuzoo and Viewpoint | Channel Chief | Agency Leader | CRN A-Lister